Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Isaac is worried that the new Net Neutrality rules in the US will affect his internet access in Canada. How can he get involved to try and prevent that? Leo says that as the US goes, so goes the world. Net Neutrality is definitely in jeopardy all around the world, and it's difficult to get his voice heard in the face of huge companies with a lot of money to buy access. But in Canada, the law requires ISPs be treated as utilities. So they can only go so far in protecting under those regulations.
Holly is having issues saving files onto her hard drive and she's concerned that she may be running out of storage. Leo says that it's probably not the hard drive that's causing that — it's probably her cloud storage on Google Drive. She has a limited amount of storage online and if she's exceeding that, then she's going to have those problems.
Ron and Jackie are having trouble getting wireless signal upstairs. What can they do? Leo says that any router will be compatible, but with all the congestion and a second story, Leo would recommend a mesh router system. The old router system is just not designed to handle the load. Mesh routers start at $300, but they are completely worth it because they will have no dropouts or dead spots and they are regularly updated to remain secure. Mesh routers will also automatically manage the network according to the quality of service.
Joy signed up for a recipe website. She can log in with one computer, but not another. It says her password is wrong. Leo says it may be that the num lock is enabled. She should see if she can type into a word processing program to make sure she has the right password, and then cut and paste it into the password field. If that works, then it may be that the site thinks it's uppercase and therefore can't accept it.
Travel news this week is that Delta Airlines is cracking down on what they call "fake service animals." All too often, people are pretending that their dogs and cats are service animals, like a seeing eye dog would be, but for emotional support. Johnny Jet says that Delta is going to require proof with a note from the doctor that you need a service animal for it to be allowed on the plane.
Art is wondering if he should expand his internet speeds to 100Mbps to watch Netflix. Leo says that 50Mbps down is fine for watching Netflix, but the more devices he has on his network, the more bandwidth he'll need. The more mobile devices, internet of things boxes, and simple computer access, 100Mbps+ is more realistic.
Pat woke up the other day and all her emails had vanished from her Gmail account. She uses her web browser to check her mail every day, clicking on "all mail," first, then deleting and emptying her trash. Leo says that she doesn't ever need to delete her email or empty the trash. Trash gets automatically flushed every 30 days. Leo suspects that Pat may have accidentally deleted more than she thought. For instance, if she hit command A, that will select everything and then delete. Unfortunately, Gmail is a cloud-based option and there's no real backup other than that.
Everything we have in our home seems to have a computer built into it these days, and they're networked and connected to the internet. This is called the "Internet of Things." Some devices are more secure than others, and even then, many just don't get updated with security features. Security expert Brian Krebs has an article on the best way to secure your digital "stuff" online. Check it out at krebsonsecurity.com here.
Eddie wants to know if Roku will look for a hotspot. Leo says it doesn't really matter, the Roku will look for Wi-Fi no matter where it is. But Eddie should remember that hotspots tend to have more restrictive bandwidth caps, and 1GB an hour is not surprising on Netflix.
Dan wants to get his mother a home assistant and can't decide between Google Home or Amazon Echo. Leo says that both are very similar. If Dan's mom has Amazon Prime, then she'll get a free limited music service with it. Google, however, is better at facts, while Echo is good at skills. So it comes down to what she's going to use it for. Echo is also better with smart home devices (IoT stuff). Leo gave his mother the Echo, but it's important to train his mother how to talk to Echo. For most people, Echo is easier to use.